Very few things in this world feel better than knowing you got a great deal on something. I got that feeling today when I went to my favorite consignment shop, Wallabie's Kids, for their Winter Clearance Sale and Spring Preview.
Babies can be so expensive...upwards of $10,000 in just the first year, so it's important to save where you can. I have found that I can find pretty much anything I want and need for my kids without paying full price for it.
How do I save money on baby and toddler stuff? Shop around!
- eBay- Great for buying new or used baby clothes if you want a huge selection and don't mind buying without seeing. As with most things, you’ll pay less per item when you buy from larger lots.
Most sellers provide pictures and detailed descriptions, but I've still had my share of
disappointments. Sometimes the clothes just don't look the same in person. It's hard to see
pilling and fraying in photos and some stains go unnoticed by the sellers.
Finally, there's the matter of shipping. Unless you happen to buy from a local seller, you
have to wait for your clothes to ship which could take up to a couple of weeks. I actually
won an auction for my youngest shortly after she was born, but by the time the clothes
came she was almost too big for them.
- Craigslist- My local Craigslist is my “go to” site for gear, toys, and furniture. You can expect to pay about half of an item’s retail price. Sometimes more, sometimes much less…depending on the item.
I love Craigslist because it’s local, there are often pictures of the item posted, and the prices are always great.
The problem, however, is that sometimes you have to be really quick when inquiring about an item. There have been several occasions when I’ve emailed a seller about an item within just a few hours of it being listed only to learn that they’ve already sold it.
Also, if you have something specific in mind, you may not find it right away. It took me about a month of checking the site several times per day to find someone selling an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper at a price I thought was reasonable ($75).
- Consignment Shops- Local consignment stores are great for clothes, gear, and toys. Prices here also usually fall at around half of what you would pay retail.
Consignment stores are fun and feel more like “real” shopping". There are a few in my area that I visit every few weeks and they always have new goodies. Chances are, even if you have a specific item in mind, you’ll still walk out with some adorable outfit or cool toy that you had no idea you wanted.
- Garage/Yard Sales- Yard sales have great prices. Most of the time the sellers want the stuff gone and are just looking to make a few bucks in the process. Baby clothes are often around only $1 a piece and there are usually a ton of toys lined up that are ready to move on to a new family.
Unfortunately, yard sales are hit or miss. Sometimes you can find the deal of the century (a couple weeks ago I bought a Cozy Coupe that was in great shape for just $3), and other times you may drive around for a few hours with nothing to show for it at the end of the day.
- Freecycle- As the name suggests, this is where you can find stuff that’s being given away for free. Can’t beat that!
Similar to Craigslist, if you see something you want, you have to be fast. Sometimes things are just left at the curb and you can simply drive by and pick it up. I actually haven’t used Freecycle since I found Craigslist, but in the past I regularly scoped for miscellaneous items my family was looking for. You’d be surprised by what people are willing to give away.
Raising kids is expensive...that's a no-brainer. Between childcare, health insurance/medical bills, food, clothing, field trips, camps, extracurricular activities, and not to mention saving for college, having kids makes a pretty significant dent in your wallet. Considering all of these expenses, it's important to save wherever you can. With all of the second-hand sources out there, there’s really no reason to have to pay full price for something that you can get for less!
Labels: baby, list, money, shopping, toddler, toys